Random stuff, stuff I like, blog improvement stuff. The usual...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The importance of getting 9/11 right

CBS News has learned that barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq - even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks.

That's according to notes taken by aides who were with Rumsfeld in the National Military Command Center on Sept. 11
With the intelligence all pointing toward bin Laden, Rumsfeld ordered the military to begin working on strike plans. And at 2:40 p.m., the notes quote Rumsfeld as saying he wanted "best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H." - meaning Saddam Hussein - "at same time. Not only UBL" - the initials used to identify Osama bin Laden.

Now, nearly one year later, there is still very little evidence Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks. But if these notes are accurate, that didn't matter to Rumsfeld.

"Go massive," the notes quote him as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not." CBS News, 9/4/2002

“I want you all to understand that we are at war and we will stay at war until this is done. Nothing else matters. Everything is available for the pursuit of this war. Any barriers in your way, they’re gone. Any money you need, you have it. This is our only agenda.” When Rumsfeld points out that international law only allows force to prevent future attacks and not for retribution, Bush yells, “No. I don’t care what the international lawyers say, we are going to kick some ass.” [Clarke, 2004, pp. 23-24] source- Complete 9/11 Timeline - 9:00 PM, 9/11/2001

(11:30 p.m.): Bush Sees New Pearl Harbor Before going to sleep, President Bush writes in his diary, “The Pearl Harbor of the 21st century took place today. ... We think it’s Osama bin Laden.” [Washington Post, 1/27/2002] source- Complete 911 Timeline
(broken WaPo link- see screenshot below for an alternate URL for the article)

But don't you believe that the threat that bin Laden posed won't truly be eliminated until he is found either dead or alive?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, as I say, we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban. source- White House Press Conference, March 2002

During Wednesday's hearing, Leahy questioned Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's Tuesday assertion that the prison camp was an essential part of the U.S.-led War on Terror. "All of us know this war will not end in our lifetime," Leahy said.
source- Congress Probes Gitmo Questions (Fox News)

At least one skeptic of the official explanation for the events of 9/11, Mike Ruppert, feels that looking at 9/11 any further will be like looking at "elephant that just ran us over" instead of at "the herd of elephants charging at us". Since I'm about to write several posts about 9/11 (posted in reverse chronological order for easier flow in reading), it's pretty clear to me that I don't totally agree with this assessment. There are at least three reasons for this- one being that while members of Mike Ruppert's audience may be willing to concede that an elephant has indeed just run them over, not everyone agrees that there was an elephant (or if there was on what the elephant looked like). Another is that the events preceeding, culminating in and following 9/11 (and all that has been written on that subject) seem to me to provide a stellar example for study in terms of conspiracy theory, misinformation and disinformation among other things. The third is what the events of 9/11 have been (and will continue to be) used to justify both domestically and worldwide- wars, torture, domestic spying, etc. and the cost, both financially and in terms of freedom of those things which are being justified by the events of 9/11 (and not just in or by the United States, which is partly why at the end of my essay I will make a plea for worldwide assistance in looking more closely at the events surrounding 9/11). Although the events of 9/11 took place predominantly within the borders of the US, many events around the world led toward that day. Also, the ripple efects from that event have worldwide consequences.

I will often bring up information previously mentioned on other sites which deal with 9/11, but will try to present evidence from primary sources (government websites and pages, official documents, newspaper, magazine and television stories, etc. which quote named sources who have relevant credentials and information) as much as possible. I owe a great debt to all of the researchers who have written on this topic, but I have nonetheless found it necessary to check, recheck, verify and/or refute any and all sources of information presented to the degree that it has been possible for me to do that online in a limited time period. These posts will only scratch the bare surface of a topic on which many books have been and will be written. You may also find some of my diary entries at dailykos useful for background information should you decide to take the plunge into all of this, particularly Keeping track of some of the major neocon players and their connections - who's on first?.

I will be using a primary tool for investigative purposes- the Internet Archive.

My main focus will be to document information (pictures, articles, websites, etc. which may provide relevant information to 9/11) which is no longer easily accessible, has been changed, or in some cases seems no longer to be available on the internet at all (as far as I can determine).

I will be attempting to document the evidence which I come across online by using screenshots.

I believe that my documentation of evidence will fall under the Fair Use guidelines which I have quoted from the 9/11 reading room

There seem to be two basic ways in which one can disprove or debunk theories, arguments, accounts of events, etc. The first one is to point out enough logical flaws (improbabilities, inconsistencies and/or impossibilities, etc.) in the account to call into question its validity as an explanation. The second is to offer an alternative explanation which better fits the known data. To give a simple example of the first method, one does not need to be able to prove conclusively that 1+1=2 in most cases in order to show evidence that 1+1=3 has a high probability of being incorrect. In this essay, I will not attempt to make many claims about what the data I present may mean. Instead, I offer it as potentially interesting data which may suggest that the official account of 9/11 may not be complete, accurate and/or truthful.
Given the possibility of disinformation about the events of 9/11, I won't attempt to present my evidence as more than that or to speculate on alternative explanations which may better account for the verifiable data. Nonetheless, I think that alternate explanations are a valuable avenue of pursuit, they are simpy beyond the scope of this essay. There are certainly enough sites around which delve into various possible scenarios without my attempting to add anything to them. So without further ado, here's what several weeks of research, documenting and writing on my part have produced:

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Internet Archive and the Rules of Disinformation

In order to pick my way through the potential minefield of information, misinformation and disinformation online I will start by referring to a source which has been found to be admissible in court (with an affidavit):
Archived web pages as evidence
In an October 2004 case called "Telewizja Polska SA, Inc. v. Echostar Satellite", the Wayback Machine archives were used as a source of admissible evidence, perhaps for the first time.

Internet Archive (the Wayback Machine)evidence that Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth:
The Rules of Disinformation
by H. Michael Sweeneyexisted on the internet in substantially the same form as today prior to 9/11
corraborating evidence may be found using a google search as well.
Hopefully, this evidence reasonably proves to an internet audience that this document was written prior to 9/11 and has been used since that time by 9/11 sites such as 9-11 Review to help analyse patterns of disinformation. Assuming that The Rules of Disinformation had an existence prior to 9/11, we can then use it as a tool to examine things which have happened on and since 9/11 to see whether we may find any evidence of disinformation occuring and to see how well those events may fit within the Rules of Disinformation paradigm. I won't attempt to present exhaustive evidence support each point and even if I did, my examples would doubtless be subject to interpretation as opposed to definitive. Nonetheless, I feel that I can present reasonably convincing evidence that some points within the rules match events quite well, and I think that a reasonable reader could easily find more supportive evidence in online forums (some of which are no doubt devoted solely to 9/11 and others which may have a significant number of threads on the topic).

So here are some links where you can read the Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation (short version w/o examples; also gives a link to the Eight Traits of the Disinformationalist)
a longer version (includes a preamble and pre-9/11 examples)

The Internet Archive can't prove that a documented web page did not exist prior to a certain date, but it can be used to establish that a documented web page did exist on or prior to a certain date in a certain form. Therefore, it can be useful in some cases when web pages have changed, no longer exist, or to establish their existence prior to a certain point in time. All of these things have been useful when trying to track down information and sort out potential disinformation, as you will see. As a point of note, the internet archive's URLs contain the date the archive of that page was created within them. For example, the URL for the oldest IA record for Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth:
The Rules of Disinformation
is http://web.archive.org/web/20010820192101/http://www.hasslberger.com/about/about/awa/awa_6.htm (20010820 being August 20th, 2001). This will be useful to keep in mind. Occasionally, when navigating through links on archived pages, the URL numbers will change to indicate a different date- this means that that particular page was archived at a different time than the page which links to it. Only once have I seen (and documented here) a different date number appear in the URL to the page I end up on than the date which appears for that page in the IA records.

The Office of Strategic Influence

I mention this because while I will often use as sources of information government and official websites, I don't necessarily believe that all of the information contained on them is accurate. I feel that one has to weigh the possibility of disinformation in all cases in order to maintain proper skepticism. You may feel that this is an overcautious stance to take, but I hope to persuade you on that score why I feel this to be necessary through the combination of the Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth document and the evidence which I will be presenting. I feel that a case can be made that whether or not some or even most of what I present is disinformation it does not detract from my argument, which is that there is a need for the U.S. public to obtain a fuller understanding of the events of 9/11 than has been provided in official accounts so far.

From Secretary Rumsfeld Media Availability En Route to Chile
And then there was the office of strategic influence. You may recall that. And "oh my goodness gracious isn't that terrible, Henny Penny the sky is going to fall." I went down that next day and said fine, if you want to savage this thing fine I'll give you the corpse. There's the name. You can have the name, but I'm gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have.

That was intended to be done by that office is being done by that office, NOT by that office in other ways.

From Wikipedia's entry on the Office of Strategic Influence

The Office of Strategic Influence, or OSI, was a department created by the United States Department of Defense on October 30, 2001, to support the War on Terrorism through psychological operations in targeted countries. The closure of the office was announced by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld soon after its existence became publicly known.

The OSI would have been a center for the creation of propaganda materials, for the stated purpose of misleading enemy forces or foreign civilian populations. After information on the office spread through US and foreign media in mid February 2002, intense discussions on purpose and scope of the office were reported. The discussions culminated in a public statement by Rumsfeld in late February that the office has been closed down.

Some argue that due to its secretive nature and stated purposes the existence of such an agency would be hard to determine. In fact, in November 2002, Rumsfeld stated in an interview that only the name of the office was abolished, that it still exists and continues to fulfill its original intended purposes. Much of the OSI's responsibilities were shifted to the Information Operations Task Force. [1]

Fair use notice - quotes from the 9/11 reading room

The 9/11 reading room archives articles, documents, etc. pertaining to 9/11. Here are a couple of quotes from the site:
This archive consists of news stories and other documents (images, government files) related to the most dire unanswered questions about the terrorist acts of September 11, 2001. It is by no means complete: We invite readers to send us articles (or references to them) that will fill out this database.
(from the main page)

Because of its importance to the events of September 11, 2001, this article has been archived by the 911 Reading Room

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of criminal justice, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

(quoted from below articles)

I agree with their interpretation of fair use in this case for the reasons which they outline in the above quote and so I will also be documenting and archiving articles, images and documents without specific authorization by the copyright owner. As I will attempt to show, a great deal of information about 9/11 is no longer readily available, has changed or in some cases does not seem to be available at all. Due to this, I have attempted to document the existence of some things which I consider to be relevant to 9/11 due to the very real possibility that they may no longer be found in their current state at some point in the future.

Friday, July 28, 2006

9/11 Commission report article versions a & b

These two articles are documented and compared in Mike Ruppert's Crossing the Rubicon. In light of recent news stories on the 9/11 Commission and NORAD and the FAA (and as part of my essay talking about the 9/11 Commission), I thought it would be worthwhile to document them both in their entirety for comparison (and documentation) purposes. As Mike Ruppert noted, there are no mentions of interim reports in the later version of the story. Since we've not seen any interim reports other than these two from 2003, this is doubtless a good thing, since these would need to be part of the public record at some point (if they existed) just like the rest of the Commission's findings.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Screenshots documenting changed and unchanged Pravda stories


So,if you've been following along with the captures above we now have examples of both pre 9/11 unchanged stories and early post 9/11 unchanged stories.

Hmm. I guess that probably means that they didn't overwrite stories because they were running out of storage space, unless they just happened to be selective in what they felt was no longer worth keeping, huh? What can ya say? Those crazy Russians. I noticed in the internet archive versions of the stories that many of them had linked at some point to a video.

September 11: The world will always remember

But something like the Pravda disappearing photos couldn't happen here, because we will never forget September 11th, right?

September 11: The world will always remember

So read the pages on UPI's photo gallery according to the Internet Archives. So I guess that must mean that those images and pages might be worth saving? I tried to do a few searches on phrases like "Manhattan billow smoke" and "depicting the World Trade Center being hit" to see if I still could find the images on the internet (aside from in the internet archives). I didn't have any luck. I guess The world will still always remember, though, so it's okay if I can't easily find any particular picture, right? Save 'em if ya see 'em is my personal recommendation here...

Perhaps you are thinking, "Well, it's just a few photos and articles; no biggie." Well, let's take a quick look at some of the uses for "a few photos and articles"